Opinion & Editorial

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2015 State of the Union Recap: President touts “middle-class economics”

Yazmin Alvarez

There are a few topics I don’t necessarily touch on or feel the need to spark a conversation about: politics, religion and money.

The way I see it, to each is their own.

But it’s only fitting that I bring up President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address.

Tuesday night, he delivered his sixth address and I’m positive there’s plenty that people will be debating about.

But not here.

I’m simply going to recap his prepared remarks for those who didn’t catch the SOTU. In fact, for those interested, they can head over to www.whitehouse.gov and watch the hour-long address.

A few things he touted, “middle-class economics,” and how Americans have rebounded after the worst economic crisis, proposals to offer new child tax credits, raise the minimum wage, extend paid family leave and make college more affordable.

“It has been, and still is, a hard time for many,” President Obama said. “But tonight, we turn the page.”

A post on NPR.org—State Of The Union Primer: What President Obama Proposed— Wednesday morning following the address helps recap “middle-class economics”:

“Obama’s budget proposal will call for a number of new and expanded tax credits to help working families. He also wants Congress to require paid sick leave for the 43 million American workers who don’t already have it. And because many jobs now require some form of higher education, Obama wants to let anyone attend community college for free, so long as they keep their grades up and graduate on time.

The president suggests paying for these proposals by raising the top tax rate on capital gains to 28 percent, and extending it to cover inherited wealth. The White House says 99 percent of the additional taxes would be paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans…”

In response to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, Representative Pete Aguilar, who was joined by Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson for the State of the Union address, released the following statement:

“While I agree with President Obama that we have made progress getting the nation’s economy back on track, the Inland Empire still has a long road toward economic recovery. As San Bernardino County families continue struggling to make ends meet, we need policies that create jobs, strengthen the region’s economy, and make sure families can keep more of their hard-earned money.

“That’s why I applaud President Obama’s proposals to make the economy fairer for middle class families by raising the federal minimum wage and making the tax code more fair for middle class and low-income families – proposals that will put more money in the pockets of hard-working Inland Empire residents.

“For too many families, the cost of pursuing higher education is a major obstacle to achieving the American Dream. That’s why I strongly support the President’s proposal to offer two years of free community college. This proposal will enable thousands of local students to achieve their dreams and increase the educational attainment of our region. I look forward to working to make this initiative a reality.”

A video, along with remarks by the President of the 2015 State of the Union delivered Jan. 20 can be viewed at www.whitehouse.gov.

~ Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

Freedom of speech sometimes silenced

We can be thankful that our government doesn’t deny us freedom of expression. Nevertheless, there are plenty of self-appointed commissars among us who consider it their mission to be the judge of what is allowed to be discussed and what is not. The sad result is that anyone who questions, for example, our nation’s prevalent religion or who dares to point out the moral blemishes that have tarnished our history is immediately silenced. A personal example: For years I belonged to an amateur writers’ group — until one day when I presented an essay with a secular theme, and was unceremoniously invited to leave. Later, when I joined another writers’ group, their teacher cautioned me not to present anything that reflects secularism, or is in any way critical of religion or of its leaders. I noticed, however, that several other writers in the group regularly presented essays extolling their Christian faith with nary an objection, but plenty of praise. I was dumfounded! This, in an organization of creative writers? This, in a country whose laws protect freedom of expression?

David Quintero, Monrovia

Keystone XL pipeline will create few jobs

Perpetuation of ignorance? I know the newspaper has to take all kinds of opinions, but there should be a reality check somewhere. And while I know the election loss of the Tea Party to Congressman Pete Aguilar still stings, it shouldn’t blind them to the facts: At most, building the pipeline will add 2,000 construction jobs for the short time it is being built, but no more than 50 after that (none of which in our area, by the way), and the only oil that we would be guaranteed to be able to have in the United States is that which potentially leaks from the pipeline once it is built. It is specifically going to shorten the route from Canada, which will obviously benefit, to the ships taking it to the OPEC countries who sell it to the world and thus benefit, but no impact on jobs in our area and no impact on the price of gas. Let’s have honest dialogue on these important issues.

Bud Weisbart, Fontana

Have those ‘difficult conversations’

Jamie Foxx and all the other publicity-seeking celebrities who want to have the “difficult conversations” about police shootings need to have those “difficult conversations” in the black communities and leave the rest of us alone, until it is fixed where it is “broken,” in the black neighborhoods. Fix the situations through truth, ethics, attitude and pure, simple honesty. Have that “difficult conversation” with those blacks with “attitude,” blaming others while they choose a life of crime and shame instead of education. All of you actors and entertainers need to go to your black inner city communities and get down and real and put the blame and responsibility where it belongs, on very bad choices in life. Stop the blame game. Stop attacking white people, successful people, educated people and yes, the rich. There is plenty of creativity, money and hard work and dedication to go around. Join, don’t destroy, the successful. Why don’t all of you rich celebrities go to Ferguson right now and help all of the innocent store owners who lost everything in the aftermath of the “angry” outside agitators.

Carol Schlaepfer, Pomona

Freedom of speech is a truly enigmatic question

I don’t think free expression is the problem. Interpretation is. Information can be changed, paraphrased or misquoted on purpose to get the public to believe anything. Politicians do it all the time. They don’t directly answer a question but rather verbally roam around their answer making you think they said something they didn’t. In the case of the concern in France the intent of the messages was to be of humor but that is not the interpretation as seen by the Islamic world. This says that free expression isn’t really free. By your own admission on the Opinion page: “We welcome letters on all issues of public concern. All are subject to editing and condensation and they can be published only with the writer’s true name.” Some of my letters have been edited and condensed resulting in loss of my true meaning. In the art world, putting obscene and pornographic pictures and videos out to the public is a right, albeit not politically correct. There is a big fear of expressing oneself when criticizing government leaders and procedures — fear of being labeled as subversive. On the job we are told to not express some thoughts as being cause for trouble-making. The right of free speech is enigmatic — some subjects acceptable in some areas and frowned upon in others. I feel free to express myself but I also realize I have to accept what the listener thinks that is. I think the question to ask is, What is free expression?

Sally Wieck, Baldwin Park

 

 

Can Community College Systems and Infrastructure Handle Free Tuition?

Rachel Kanakaole

The conversation President Obama’s domestic policy chief, Cecilia Munoz, is referring to is one that we are all familiar with: access to quality education. This extended conversation, which continued today with the president’s speech at Pellissippi Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, includes President Obama’s new proposal to make the first two years of community college completely free for students looking to transfer, or to get an associates degree or technical job training.

The president’s proposal, America’s College Promise, is looking to build a shared responsibility between the federal government, states, colleges. and students across the country to reexamine and reinvest in our education systems. Modeled after similar plans currently being adopted by states such as Tennessee, community colleges offering programs that fully transfer, or provide a degree or job training would be eligible for funding from the federal government to help make tuition free for students. The program would apply to half- and full-time students who maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and make “steady progress” towards their goals. What exactly “steady progress” means remains to be clearly defined, along with many other details, such as where the federal funding will come from. President Obama says he will release those details in his State of the Union address on January 20.

Even without all of the specifics, I can say that as a current community college student, access to and affordability of classes is crucial in determining whether or not I will graduate in a timely manner. However, it is not solely lack of money that hinders us students from being able to complete a program in two years, but a combination of multiple infrastructural issues such as course offerings, classroom space, and most importantly, proper guidance to navigate the complex systems that are the basis of the college itself. America’s College Promise is not only aiming to provide the always-needed financial assistance, but also requiring colleges to adopt “promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes,” such as the successful Accelerated Student in Associates Program (ASAP) at the City University of New York. Programs such as ASAP provide much needed resources such as guidance, counseling, and schedule planning, which are all crucial components to graduating on time.

The Obama administration believes adopting research-backed programs, like ASAP, nationwide, will provide students with the additional help needed to successfully complete their education in two years. While in theory, the blanket adoption of specific programs such as these would benefit some students in some states, it most likely would not benefit all students in all states. Take my campus, San Bernardino Valley College, which is located in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino in Southern California. What works for the population in Knoxville, Tennessee will not necessarily address the needs of students 2,000 miles across the country that are from very different economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. It could also add extra pressure on already stressed community college systems by forcing college administrators, faculty members, and students to learn and navigate yet another assistance program on campus. It seems redundant to force a community college that already has counseling services, academic advisors, and multiple assistance programs of their own to adopt additional programs, instead of encouraging better technical and skills training for those already employed on their campuses in areas such as counseling, advising, and educational planning. Many schools already provide the pathways for that type of guidance and counseling to occur, they just need to be reexamined and reinvigorated instead of ignored and replaced.

Another major question this proposal brings up is one of capacity. Again, using my community college as an example, with close to 13,000 students enrolled full-time, classroom space is already extremely limited, financially and physically. Schools would be pressured to create additional course offerings to accomodate higher enrollment, which is already an issue colleges across the country have had great difficulty with.

So, can America’s College Promise truly be fulfilled? I believe so, but not until a few critical components are reexamined and rewritten. The intention is there, but thankfully this is not a final proposal and is continuing to undergo development.

Rachel Kanakaole is the Chapter Head of the San Bernardino Valley Community College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network and one of the New Chapters Coordinator for the Western Region.

Original publication credit to the Next New Deal: The Blog of the Roosevelt Institute

Remember God’s Prophetic Messages for which America’s Future Hangs?

Jesus through God said “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophesies. To me, this capsulizes much of what is expected of those who profess to be Christians. Some of the superfluous tangents we sometimes pursue are unbelievably unproductive. When the idolatries of such things as putting 1) money, 2) reputation and world renown, 3) selfishness and ease, 4) jealousy and envy, instead of taking responsibility for others (as we can) and for oneself and our actions; we are not following God and his first two commandments. And always remember, vengeance is only God and the Lord’s domain. Dignity and respect are words only, but they need to be followed by positive actions and words of all concerned. In my 76-1/2 years of living I have truly found it is more blessed to give and more rewarding than to receive. The carnal world of ego, vanity, false pride and foolishness, is far from the spiritual world. Righteousness (not self-righteousness) is the goal in dealings with others. Truth is the one thing that is a sure way to complete justice. If all of us could put others needs ahead of our own selfish and ulterior purposes, this world would be a better place to live in. I can’t help but think when God gave us his ten commandments through Moses, he was directing them to all earthly beings-not just a chosen few. Certainly Jesus talked in his Sermon on the Mount about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, he was talking to the whole world. Far too many people in this world do not practice any of these sage teachings from the Almighty. Some secular-leaning human beings would say what I just said is just religious dogma. But to me it is just common sense before the harbinger comes true. For some it is hard to envision a God we cannot meet or see. Complete faith is hard at times; however, in my opinion, the secular world and the United States of America, in particular, could use some religious common sense.

John H. Peterson, Life-long Advocate of Racial and Cultural Harmony

San Bernardino

Re: “City Council Votes to Uphold Planning Commission’s Decision of Denying Largo CUP Permit”

I can’t understand the city council of Colton. It seems to me that they are aiming at the white race as to not putting in good companies and jobs to all of Colton, as was said at the last council meeting. They need only Latinos in this city? Well I have been here many years and thought it didn’t matter if I am white. I worked in the city and had a non-profit group of friends who helped out the south-side of Colton. No one complained about my race then but I guess with all the problems in MO, and LA, I should worry now. What a shame. Thank you Colton for waking me up.

Cindy Carrion, Colton, CA

Re: “Vibe Fitness owner strives to build healthy community”

I joined Gino’s boot camp in July last year. I have improved in many areas of strength and endurance. When I started I couldn’t do one push-up. I am doing 50 a day now. I lacked confidence in box jumps and this week I jumped more and higher then I ever thought I could. I started out dead lifting 30-35lbs and the other day I did sets of ten at 85lbs. I am growing in lean muscle and in confidence. THANKS GINO!

Whitney Shepherd, Bloomington, CA

 

2015: 900-plus new laws for California

By Yazmin Alvarez

California, The Golden State, and now home to more than 900 new laws for 2015—930 to be exact.

Some are obviously needed, while others could have people raising eyebrows.

Most of the laws took effect Jan. 1, but others don’t kick in until July.

Among one of the quirky ones includes recognizing an official state amphibian- the California Red-Legged Frog. Yes, that correct, a state frog. While a state frog croaks me up, I’m okay with it because he’s kind of cute, just look him up. Plus, it’s recognized by the federal government as a “threatened” species. So, save the frogs!

Now, let’s get into a few of the more serious ones.

Information about the new laws was collected from various published articles, including a Dec. 26 web article published by SF Gate Staff Writer Melody Gutierrez, a Jan. 6 web article published by Tauhid Chappell, Walt Gray of News10 ABC, a Jan. 1 web article published by Patrick McGreevy of the LA Times and a Jan. 1 article published by Chris Nichols of the UT San Diego.

Youth football practice: With the intent to reduce concussions and other brain injuries, AB 2127 limits middle school and high school students to 90 minutes of full-contact football drills twice per week. The law also bans full-contact practice during the off-season and requires the California Interscholastic Federation to create a protocol for an athlete who suffers a concussion.

New consent law for sexual activity: Colleges and universities in California will be required to adopt policies against sexual assault that radically rewrite what constitutes consent as a condition of receiving state financial aid. Under the new law, the standard for consent to sexual activity in campus judicial hearings shifts from whether a person said “no” to whether both partners said “yes.” The law only applies to the burden of proof used during campus disciplinary hearings, not criminal proceedings.

Toy guns must be colorful: The new law requires toy manufacturers to make plastic guns in bright colors so law enforcement can distinguish between toy firearms and real ones.

“Selfie” protections: Revenge will come at a price for those who post private naked photos or videos of someone without his or her consent. The new law extends privacy protections to all individuals who take nude “selfies” intended to be private. A law passed last year to offer “revenge porn” protections did not include selfies. Anyone who violates the new law by disseminating a protected image could be charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

In July, a second “revenge porn” law will allow a person whose naked image was shared online without his or her consent to file a civil suit for monetary damages against the perpetrator under a pseudonym in court.

Or, you can just keep things simple and keep your clothes on for photos. Just a thought.

New rules for student expulsions: Public schools can no longer expel students for defying teachers or administrators

That’s right, there is no typo there.

A student can no longer be expelled for willfully defying teachers or administrators at any level. And, if a student is in grade K-3, schools cannot suspend them student for misbehaving.

I’d like to hear what some teachers have to say about this new law.

So how much leeway do students have now before getting expelled? Well, if they pose a certain danger to other students, such as talking about violence, drug use, among a few.

One law still up in the air is the ban on plastic bags.

Opponents of the law have submitted signatures to place a referendum on the 2016 ballot. If enough signatures are deemed valid, the law will be suspended until an electoral vote.

Joan Williams snubbed again, this time by TV

While I watched the Rose Parade, I kept waiting to hear the story about Joan Williams. I always enjoy the informative commentary about each group and float. Alas, nary a word about Williams nor the reason she was on the float almost 60 years later than she should have been. Shame on the producers for not including her story. This wrong was not truly made right; it was made only half right.

Susan Marquez, Fontana

Tragic shooting of mother not the child’s fault

The death of 29-year-old Veronica Rutledge, the woman who was accidentally shot and killed at a Wal-Mart in Idaho by means of a concealed handgun when her 2-year-old son unzipped the handgun pouch, aimed at her, and pulled the trigger, is a case of “people don’t kill people, guns kill people.” Of course, this small child cannot be blamed for his mother’s death. He witnessed the adults around him using handguns all the time and he probably also saw her place her gun in her purse and zip the pouch closed. When she left him in her shopping cart with the purse, he was curious to imitate the actions of the adults, and so pulled out the gun and fired. Unfortunately, for the child and Rutledge, he aimed at her head and the gun killed her. The grandfather is correct; the child is not to blame. Nevertheless, his mother is dead because she was carrying a concealed weapon on that shopping trip with her son.

Leslie Soltz, Highland

Technology producing a decline in critical thinking

Over the past century, the number of hours college students spend studying has declined sharply. Meanwhile, most Americans, no matter their age, spend at least eight hours a day watching TV, a computer monitor or the screen of their mobile phone. In general, people are reading print less, including newspapers, magazines and books. Most youngsters read printed words only about seven minutes per day. College students admitted they didn’t know how to study. Little wonder considering they no longer read. They have grown up in the age of skimming — cursory reading, glancing at words and pictures on screens. They do their thinking with the TV on and perform a quick Google search while texting friends. The media revolution has rewired our brains to think and react purely on superficial levels. We are losing our capacity for deep thought.

George Campos, Ontario

Some historical facts misrepresented in ‘Selma’

How would the NAACP, Rep. John Lewis and the others defending the movie “Selma” react if it was Dr. King who wasn’t getting the credit he deserves? They would be justifiably angry not excusing it because it’s a drama not a documentary. While Dr. King was the face and leader of the civil rights movement in America in the 1960s, it was President Johnson who got what he was striving for turned into law. LBJ started well before Selma even though he knew what it was going to cost his party — losses it still suffers. Dr. King understood we are all in this together and denigrating the efforts of one to enhance the role of another does neither justice. It is doubtful he would be happy with this movie. Ava DuVernay, the director of “Selma,” told Rolling Stone magazine, “Every filmmaker imbues a movie with their own point of view. The script was the LBJ/King thing, but originally, it was much more slanted to Johnson. I wasn’t interested in making a white-savior movie … .” Her comment shows bias is an equal opportunity failing. With the racial tensions that still exist we didn’t need a movie about a “savior” — black or white — we need one that presents the facts. Those who lived through that period are a minority, one getting smaller every day. The misrepresentation of the role LBJ and other whites played just gives those unaware of the truth one more reason to be mad and there is too much anger already.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

Taking issue with Claremont Nativity display

Once again, I have to disagree with Claremont United Methodist Church’s Nativity scene. Mary, Joseph and Jesus weren’t homeless, refugees or migrants. They were traveling because Caesar Augustus ordered a census be taken. Joseph, being of the line of King David, was required to return to his ancestral home of Bethlehem to be counted. The reason Jesus was born in a manger was because the inn was full, a kind person offered their manger due to Jesus’s imminent birth. Please note, this is not to take away from the humbleness of the situation and location of Jesus’s birth. A modern version might be: Joseph, being a carpenter, is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to attend a safety seminar. However, when he and Mary arrive, they find all the hotels full. A kind local citizen offers his garage, or shed as shelter, where Jesus is born. As for David Allen’s idea of depicting the Holy Family and the Wise Men with their hands up, maybe instead, they could show the shepherds standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their staffs in hand ready to protect the Holy Family!

Derek Deason, Fontana

An Academic Overview: Existentialism and Its Relevance to Social Revolution (part two)

Anthony Victoria

In contrast to the fervent call to action put forth by the proletariat Marxists of the third world, Albert Camus found his meaning through a more extensive existentialist approach.

The renowned journalist, novelist, and philosopher remained a freelancer (both in profession and in thinking) in a time when many stood on the sides of either capitalism or socialism.

Camus was not one to shy away from formal criticism however. These are his writings about the Bandung group:

“The nations of the Bandung group could have saved a great European nation from slavery and death…But the Bandung group rapidly became realistic. Apparently it is easy to become an adult in History. Consequently, those nations must henceforth be judged as adults, on the basis of their deeds, without any indulgence. And their attitude towards the Hungarian massacre is inexcusable.”

Criticizing newly formed nation-states such as India and the Arab countries of turning the other cheek and not recognizing Soviet imperial aggression in Hungary, Camus critically points out that even those that claimed to be “neutral” during the Cold War had no interest in gaining true world peace.

Furthermore, Camus in his other essay, Create Dangerously pinpoints the very basis of his doctrine: “Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret.” Or take his excerpt from The Wager of Our Generation: “Every work presupposes a content of reality and a creator who shapes the container. Consequently, the artist, if he must share the misfortune of his time, must also tear himself away in order to consider that misfortune and give it form.”

Although he insisted he was not a philosopher, Camus often delved deep into overarching themes that not only presented socioeconomic issues in foreign policy, but the questions of the individual mind—the questions of freedom of expression, thought, and art. In the literal sense, to make art or to write in opposition of the status quo in many of the aforementioned powerful nation states meant to create dangerously.

Affluent attitudes had a stranglehold on the United States in the mid-Twentieth century and Baldwin, the novelist, essayist, and poet hit a hidden chord in the hearts and minds of Americans. In The Fire Next Time Baldwin’s literature does not focus on the specific policies or political factions of the time, but instead aims to address the need for both African Americans and White Americans to need each other.

“Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become. It is this individual uncertainty on the part of white American men and women, this inability to renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives, that makes the discussion, let alone education, of any conundrum—-that is, in any reality—so supremely difficult. The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—-for this touchstone can be only oneself…Therefore, whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves”.

The rewards of being a superpower meant that many white Americans had the privilege of owning a television set, a fancy car or a house, but for the people of color in the United States, sitting in the same diner or attending a University was still a distant reality. As Baldwin argues, people are not rushed to be equal to one another but they have the desire to want to be superior. As we analyze his essay today and make comparisons to present issues, one can reflect on his existentialist views. As he would say, privately we cannot stand our lives and we dare not examine them.

Additionally, our power and fear of change will bind people to the misery they cannot adjust to and hinder revolution. It is important then to understand Baldwin’s writings as a challenge to both the status quo and the people: to accept yourself for who you are can transform the very foundations of Western civilization and provide yourself the individual right to questions society’s foundations. ‘

Written for Professor Lloyd, History Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Dear Future Leader and Supporters

Nothing brings me greater satisfaction than learning of your accomplishments. Your successes make all our years of effort worthwhile. We conclude the year by already planning for next summer’s program, our 31st summer leadership conference. We also bring the year to a close with a keen understanding of the funds necessary to deliver our program, and that is my main reason for writing to you today. I am tremendously grateful to our 100% volunteer staff, but, unfortunately, while they save us thousands of dollars, there are many needed services that cannot be taken care of through volunteer effort. For example, rent for next summer’s campsite is expected to cost us over $40,000, and buses will cost over $8,000. I am hoping the end of 2014 finds you in a position to make a donation, an investment in the program that made such a wonderful impact on your own life. Please know that we strive to bring honor to the sacrifices made by our staff and donors by making sure that we are good stewards of the monies donated to us. Every dollar, every single penny, goes directly to making our program possible. Your contribution is key to our ability to do that. I ask for your help to touch the lives of young people as we touched yours. You may send your contribution: INLAND EMPIRE FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAM C/O MICHAEL MONTAÑO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER 6378 ANGELS PEAK DRIVE SAN BERNARDINO, CA 92407 IRS 501(c)(3) ID Number is #33-042-7435 I wish all of you continued success and much happiness throughout the new year. And, as always, I hope you will continue to share your good news with us. I genuinely enjoy hearing from former Future Leaders.

Dr. Tom

It’s not just for fun

The Internet is an enormous boon to society. Getting rid of it would be disastrous and radically slow down new ideas, innovations and scientific advancements. Those who think it’s just a way to retrieve football scores or find restaurants rapidly are not aware of its full capacity. Thousands of classical philosophy books and fiction are now online through Project Gutenberg. Millions of books are regularly downloaded from the library for e-readers. These are just the simpler uses. Every university encourages Internet research. For example, Pollak Library at Cal State Fullerton has thousands of scientific and educational journals online, available for rapid research. The data available for students to search is beyond the capacity of most physical libraries. With the click of the mouse, students and researchers can find articles at their fingertips from universities around the world. The Internet is the world’s largest library, communication system and encyclopedia rolled into one. In the future, we will become even more connected to what it offers. Our lives are impacted daily by the Internet by those providing services, from fire and police to city planners.

Bonnie Shirley Whittier

Movie studio should have used a fictitious country

As Americans, we value our rights to freedom of speech. But as Americans, we know that constitutional rights also require responsibility. No one denies Sony Pictures and the filmmakers their right to make the satirical film. But during the process in which the film was vetted and decisions to invest millions of dollars were made, did anyone question what was being done? As a responsible member of the global community, why make a satirical film about an existing country and assassinating an existing leader? Wouldn’t it have been better to have a fictitious Asian nation with a fictitious leader? People are intelligent and insightful enough to recognize satire and the unspoken. The beauty of using a fictitious country is that North Korea would have also identified itself and the filmmaker’s message would have been made. Moreover, if North Korea complained that it was the fictitious country, it would be publicly admitting its human rights violations and paranoia.

Gary L. Murph Bellflower

Sony had no other option

“The Interview” stirs up controversy as it reveals the entirety of many Hollywood films today: ludicrous, impractical and superficial. The trailer depicts a celebrity talk-show host accepting a CIA mission of traveling to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un, illustrated in the movie as the foolish and ignorant North Korean dictator. Sony Pictures had no other option but to cancel the release when their networking systems were hacked and North Korea threatened to launch a 9/11-style attack on theaters in the United States if the movie failed to be pulled from cinemas across the country. Many critics commented that the movie’s cancellation assaults our freedom-of-speech rights. Nonsense. Despite America’s exercise to free speech being inhibited, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the threats seriously.

Amanda Qiu Arcadia

 

New laws for employers in 2015  

Yazmin Alvarez

With the Christmas holiday now in the past and plans stirring on how to ring in the new year, many also should be preparing to implement policies to comply with a number of new California laws expected to go into effect in 2015, especially employers.

The new laws cover a range of points in employment, including wage and hour issues, paid sick leave and discrimination.

While a list of new laws are also coming to residents, employers should take time and review their current policies to ensure compliance for the new year, according to The California Chamber of Commerce.

Below is a brief overview from a Dec. 2 publication of The National Law Review and The California Chamber of Commerce of a few of most notable new laws affecting businesses in California. For a complete list of the policies taking effect visit, natlawreview.com or calchamber.com

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

– AB 1522 – The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” requires California employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees, including all full-time, part-time, temporary, migrant and seasonal employees. Employers must provide paid sick leave to these employees if they work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment. Under the new law, employees are entitled to accrue paid sick days at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may limit the employee’s annual use of paid sick leave benefits to 24 hours or 3 days per year, and cap the accrual of paid sick leave to 48 hours or 6 days per year.

Expanded Coverage for Emergency Duty Leave

– AB 2536 – California protects employees from discipline or discharge for taking time off for performing emergency services as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers or emergency rescue personnel. However, the state previously limited the definition of “emergency rescue personnel” to those providing emergency services in government agencies, sheriff’s departments, police departments or private fire departments. The new law now expands the definition of “emergency rescue personnel” to include those providing emergency services as part of a disaster medical response entity sponsored or requested by the state.

New Statute of Limitations for Liquidated Damages for Failure to Pay Minimum Wage

– AB 2074 – Previous law required that a lawsuit to recover liquidated damages for minimum wage violations under California Labor Code § 1194.2 be filed within one year of the alleged violation. The new law amends Section 1194.2 to extend the statute of limitations period to three years.

Nondiscrimination: Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Persons

– AB 1660 makes it a violation of FEHA for an employer to discriminate against an individual because he/she holds or presents a driver’s license issued to undocumented persons who can submit satisfactory proof of identity and California residency. Such discriminatory actions will constitute national origin discrimination under FEHA.

These driver’s licenses are often referred to as “AB 60 driver’s licenses,” after the name of the bill passed last year.

AB 60 driver’s licenses are scheduled to start being issued on January 1, 2015.

AB 1660 clarifies that actions taken by an employer that are required to comply with federal I-9 verification requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) do not violate California law.

~California Chamber of Commerce list of new employment laws scheduled to take effect in 2015 can be found at www.calchamber.com.

~iecn.yazmin@gmail.com

Accentuating the Positive

Lyrics of a once popular song said that we should accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Many of our youth are engaged in great humanitarian endeavors, however, their good works are too often overshadowed in the news media by negative, sensationalized acts of barbarism. The elementary school scholars at Henry Elementary School in San Bernardino are engaged in a Global Studies program. Recently, 4th and 5th graders researched Global indigenous tribes around the world. They studied tribes such as The Awa in Brasil, The Matses in Brasil, The Wichi in Argentina, The Bushmen in Botswana, The Ogiek in Kenya, The Aboriginal people of Australia, The Batak in the Philippines, The Dongria Kondh of India, and the Siberian Tribes of Russia, among others. Each scholar presented a major power point film documentary of their research, complete with credits at the end of the film. The young scholars filmed, narrated, and operated all of their equipment. I was absolutely amazed! During the research, scholars found that many native people were in danger of having their lands destroyed. The scholars found a website on international tribal survival, and planned a “Tea for Tribes” to raise funds for tribes that are endangered due to deforestation and loss of resources. Donations were forwarded to help these less fortunate tribes around the globe. Our youth were giving instead of taking, providing food instead of drugs, making friends and collaborating instead of fighting. The young scholars were smiling and excited rather than sullen and bullying. Their skills and researched knowledge was absolutely “off the charts”! They deserve Kudos for the great humanitarian activities in which they are engaged. Congratulations to the young Henry Elementary School scholars for their sensitivity, to their superlative principal, Dr. Marcus Funchess, and to the great Henry staff, for truly Accentuating the Positive. They truly live up to their artistic expression, “We are smart, We are Intelligent, We are full of greatness!” Come on Adults, the children are leading the way. Let’s get on board, reach out and touch, and make this world a better place! We can!

Mildred Dalton Henry, Ph.D. San Bernardino

4,000 Attend Winter Wonderland, THANK YOU!

Good afternoon City Employees and Community Members, On behalf of the San Bernardino Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department, we want to take the time to thank you, for your time and support, for our first Winter Wonderland that was held on Saturday, December 13th. A tremendous undertaking, we had at least 400 volunteers, vendors & staff and an estimated 4,000 participants. And it truly was a Wonderful event. We are already working to make next year’s event bigger, more organized and, of course, more Wonderful :_) Our hope is that you will collaborate with us again and that you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (To view more pictures and videos, please check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/sbparksandrecreation; you are also welcome to send pictures to Aviana, and she can share them).

Thanks,

Mickey Valdivia, Director & Aviana Cerezo, Community Recreation Manager Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department

New San Bernardino school police chief gets it

A police officer witnessing an adolescent assaulting another adolescent will make an arrest. San Bernardino City Unified School District police officers seek why the adolescent got into the fight. Did his father hit him that morning? Did his mother abuse him before school? What is going on with the student and how can the officers model good behavior and mentor for life success? Chief Joseph Paulino gets it: He knows adolescent mistakes can destroy a life, mistakes we can correct with mentoring and modeling good behaviors. Chief Paulino and San Bernardino City Unified School District board member Abigail Medina are working on school policing as a discipline separate from beat policing. Paulino and Michael Gallo, president of the San Bernardino school board, want to develop a program for troubled youths — those most likely to bully others, where staff mentor and model good behavior. The students, families and citizens of San Bernardino County are well served with Chief Paulino as the new school police chief.

Daved van Stralen, Loma Linda

Terrorists win when the U.S. caves to threats

Sure, we all fear terrorist threats stemming from Sept. 11, so what are Americans to do? Hide and give up our freedom? So we get these threats from our enemies and we pull the movie. Maybe this was a good move, but what’s next? Baseball games, the Super Bowl, Disneyland, flying on vacations, buying groceries, drinking water, and so on? Once these low-life terrorists see we back down and that Americans are giving up their freedoms, they will keep doing this and expanding on it. On top of that, we now have President Obama giving back terrorists to Cuba and kissing their hind ends. This country was built for standing up for what is right and we never backed down from doing the right thing. Now we have to give in to every whimpering threat and adapt to their lifestyle?

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

 

An Academic Overview: Existentialism and Its Relevance in Social Revolution (Part One).

Anthony Victoria

Human Civilization during the first half of the Twentieth century saw two major powers arise from devastating war destruction take part in a political and military standoff for global supremacy.

In spite of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States being softened as a result of Nazi Germany’s aggression in Europe, both nations were suspicious of one another’s actions subsequent to the Great War and preceding the Second World War.

Ideology such as McCarthyism that made accusations of subversion or treason without regard for evidence and isolationist foreign policy, such as the Warsaw Pact of Eastern Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of Western Europe arose due to perceived threats of military action coming from both sides.

Disillusioned by these ideas that transcended into neo-colonial and imperial actions across the continents of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, intellectuals such as French Philosopher Albert Camus, African-American author James Baldwin, and French poet Aime Cesaire wrote furiously and passionately about the issues that affected third world colonial societies, the Eastern Bloc nations of Czechoslovakia and Hungary (to name a few), and a segregated but “equal” United States.

The prominent ideas of democracy, progress, and civilization to these men were merely political propaganda aimed to cover the hate-filled racist and capitalist agenda that motivated the foreign policy of that era.

In contrast to the belief that the ideas would liberate oppressed peoples in developing regions of the world, the intellectuals were aware that an existentialist way of thinking carried much more significance in efforts to bring cultural liberation and social engagement to the forefront.

Whereas Cesaire denounced neocolonialism in Discourse on Colonialism through poetic lines that highlighted Western European hypocrisy, Camus and Baldwin wrote more analytical, theoretical prose works that analyzed race, class, and imperialism on a grander scale.

These works when compared to Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle render little dissimilarity. In fact, Vonnegut’s satirical novel can help one further understand existentialism . By addressing the issues of science, religion, and nation, in a more humorous matter, Vonnegut addresses the idea of existentialism by demonstrating the unnaturalness of scientific inventions and the arbitrariness of government and religion.

Cesaire in his essay begins by asking the overall question of what colonization fundamentally is.

For the communist party member, it was not the desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny through the act of God or as an act of philanthropy, but “Christian pedantry” that laid the dishonest equations of Christianity=civilization and paganism=savagery.

Only “Abominable colonialist and racist consequences”, Cesaire wrote, “whose victims were to be the Indians, the yellow peoples, and the Negroes,” is the end result of colonial aspirations. In the broader sense, the author argues that no one colonizes innocently or with impunity.

Such a person or nation-state with that sense of power justifies colonization is already a sick civilization. By using Marx’s ideology of historical materialism to outline the “false consciousness” of the proletariat-colonized population of third world nations, Cesaire addresses capitalism as the institutional and ideological framework of the bourgeois class.

Cesaire argues that a capitalist society is able to impose the ideas it finds suitable for the working class.His solution, as stated in his essay, was for people “to see clearly and think clearly” to avoid its deception. His ideas were existentialist in the sense that it questioned the foundations of racism and colonialism and aimed to implement ideological foundations that were necessary in order to transcend from a colonized population to a “classless society”. In simple terms, revolution to Cesaire was the only way in which the proletariat could rise up and overcome the harsh reality of a tyrannical bourgeois society.

Despite many of Cesaire’s claims and ideas stemming from Marxist thought, the concept of writing about the conditions of the colonized inspired revolution around the world.The national movements of Vietnam and Madagascar, and July 26 movement in Cuba would demonstrate Cesaire’s writings had a lasting impression on the oppressed peoples of the world.

Written for Professor Brian Lloyd, professor of U.S. History at the University of California, Riverside.

Recognizing World War II Veterans

The Normandy regional government has created a medal for any living veteran of the Battle of Normandy (D-Day +100) or who participated in the reconstruction of Normandy after the war. We have been asked to assist in distributing the medals to those Veterans residing in the United States. If you have Veterans in your council whom you would like to recognize, I only need to know their name, and unit they were with (rank at the time would be good but not necessary). I will mail the medal and ribbon to your council for presentation. (picture attached). From working with these heroes nothing means more to them to have youth thank them and be aware of what they did. Having a medal presented by a scout with their thanks means a lot. I hope it will help you to continue to build relationships with organizations that also serve Veterans in your council. Each medal needs to be accounted for so I need the names before I send out the medals. Thank you for all you do, and I am proud to serve with you making a difference now and in the future.

Vincent P. Cozzone, Scout Executive/CEO Transatlantic Council, BSA​

Crossing guard in Highland an unsung hero

If your spirits need a lift, drive past the corner of Lynwood Way and Victoria Avenue in Highland, near the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino between (roughly) the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The school crossing guard at this corner will make you think you’re the person she’s been waiting to greet. She’s there every school day, whatever the weather. Greeting passing vehicles is only her “sideline.” Every child who goes through her intersection gets a smile, a pat on the back, a kind word, or all of these things. I often wonder how many children have brighter days because of her. I wonder if these students’ teachers are aware of how much more smoothly their days run because of her. I wonder if parents are aware of how much more smoothly their evenings run because of her. I wonder if she is aware of how many lives she affects. She is truly an unsung hero.

Loleta Cruse, San Bernardino

Disappointed about lack of transparency

find it very disappointing and disheartening to read that newly elected Mayor Richard De La Rosa, Councilwoman Summer Zamora Jorrin and Councilman Isaac Suchil dissented from voting against transparency. Isn’t that what a majority of Colton citizens want? Openness and transparency? And isn’t that why we voted for them? If you look deep into these elected officials, most of them worked under former Mayor Frank Gonzales, the king of hiring family. We don’t need or want nepotism. Yes, family members supposedly “volunteer” their services, but in the long run, they don’t do it for free. They eventually wind up getting hired to work for the city. This has to stop now before it spreads. A better way can be accomplished by randomly selecting a number of Colton residents on an invite from a registrar to serve on a commission or whatever is needed, regarding our city’s concerns.

Mario Flores, Colton

Cameras a distraction

Who will choose which officer wears the body camera? At one time there were cameras in patrol cars to no avail. Not that police officers shouldn’t wear body cameras, but I would hate to see an officer engage his body camera before he can draw his gun if he is in danger of being shot. If the camera, the officer and the alleged criminal work in unison with the camera showing the activities, it’s a positive piece of equipment, but if there is only one person being photographed — probably the alleged criminal — where is the fairness in this procedure? New training, new way of thinking and new procedures would be advantageous.

Lois Eisenberg, Valencia

Keep it simple, head out to Holiday Happenings

Yazmin Alvarez

As much as I’d like for my amazingly witty self to astound my fabulously fantastic avid readers with some insightful stellar writings for this week, I have some shocking news instead… I’ve got nothing.

Seriously.

I’m blank.

Sure I have plenty of things I’d like to spaz out about like the princess driver yesterday that was so busy reading her novel as she sped through a parking lot nearly squishing me into a pancake because well, she clearly mustn’t have any other free time to read than while driving, or the fact that I pay a hefty phone bill for service that sucks with AT&T and can’t get reception in any place surrounded with oxygen or can’t hook on to wifi because towers or whatever makes only my phone work are down (yes, I hope someone from the company comes across this).

I spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about what to bring you guys this week, and finally when I stopped thinking (yes, insert joke here) it came to me!

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid.

So instead of rambling on filling space with nonsense like I usually do, I’m sticking to the basics here and providing some information on a few can’t miss happenings this month throughout the area and wherever else comes to mind. Here you go, news you can use:

Dec. 16 Healthcare Enrollment

A free health care enrollment event sponsored by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West is scheduled in San Bernardino at St. Bernardine Medical Center, 2101 N. Waterman Ave.

The health fair will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is designed to help people sign-up for free and low-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California.

For information on enrollment requirements call 888-920-4517.

Holiday Luau Luncheon

Put on your favorite Hawaiian shirt and join the Joslyn Senior Center for a fun, holiday spirited luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, at the center 21 Grant Street in Redlands. Dan Damon will provide the entertainment and a delicious meal will be provided by Thomas Catering. The price is $5 per person with a patron card, $10 without.

Information and registration: 909-798-7550.

Dec. 18 Joy for Jackets

Coffee Nutzz in Rialto presents a holiday event free for the community. Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa, enjoy Christmas stories and several activities. The event runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at coffee shop, 119 E Foothill Blvd.

Information: 909-874-2222.

Dec. 20 Santa in Rialto

It’s a bird, it’s a plane it’s Santa arriving by helicopter.

The man of the season will fly into Rialto at Sunrise Church to visit with all the good boys and girls, ready to read their Christmas lists.

The free event begins at 2 p.m. but the line to meet Santa will start forming at noon and will close at 2:30 p.m.

Information: Call Cpl. Nelson at 909- 820-2515.

Dec. 26- Jan 1 Redlands on Ice

The Redlands Chamber of Commerce will host the first-ever ice rink in downtown for the holiday season.

The rink will be open for one week from noon to 10 p.m.

Special events, classes and open skate times will be available.

General admission prices: $12 per hour ages 13 and up, $9 per hour for children 12 and younger. Skate rental is $3.

Information: 909-793-2546.

~iecn.yazmin@gmail.com

Great strides made in ‘five percent’ role-model goal

Earlier this year, I was able to meet Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant at a book signing for his newest book “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism.” He noted a study by the University of Chicago and cited in Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” which said it only takes five percent of a community to act as role models to stabilize a community. Incredible. Only five percent of positive role models are needed for our young people to be inspired by, aspire to be and view themselves in a new, more positive way. I am a resident of Rialto (for more than 40 years), longtime employee of the Rialto Unified School District, parent of four RUSD high school graduates and grandparent of three students currently in RUSD schools. I believe we made great strides toward a five percent role model goal last month. Rialto Middle School and Kolb Middle School Robotics Clubs hosted the Inland Empire’s First Lego League Robotics Qualifying Tournament, which received participation from 11 schools in the region. We had over 70 mentors from ages 12 to 60 who assisted in our tournament and represented proudly the city of Rialto and Rialto Unified School District to our visiting teams. In addition to myself, the other three coaches from RUSD were William Patterson of Jehue Middle School; Shelly Gates of Kolb Middle School; Ron Kovich of Kolb Middle School. We had 13 coaches from competing schools that invested time and money to create a First Lego League team. RUSD Board Member Joseph Martinez and Thomas Haldorsen, the associated superintendent of personnel served as judge and referee. Ricardo Carlos of RUSD Communication Services kept up the social media posts, press releases, including picture-taking and interviewing student participants. Staff from Rialto Middle School included Ms. Mims Williams, Ms. Smalls, Ms. Yamoto, Ms. Capalla, Ms. Alva and Ms. Hetzer. Ms. Pool, Ms. Erickson and Ms. Richardson volunteered from Kolb Middle School. Eisenhower High School’s Waahida Manson and Anthony Marroquin are advanced science, technology, engineering and math students from Mr. Atkinsons High School STEM program. Teacher Sheri Garcia, and parent Dianna Mower represented Werner Elementary School. Other parent volunteers were Irene Mendoza of Jehue Middle School and Maria Rodriquez of Rialto Middle School. Thank you to all of the mentors and role models who participated. You made a difference to not only the youth in Rialto, but to youth visiting from throughout the region as well. Thank you for being a part of the five percent. I, and our students, appreciate you! I am Rialto Proud.

Rod Campbell, Rialto

Ramos misses the point

The district attorney missed the point and is perhaps campaigning too soon. Jon Stewart was talking about white cops killing black men. Although Stewart may be wrong about the cause of Dante Parker’s death, it fit in the category Stewart was referring. The only way I can consider the DA Ramos’ numbers is if he breaks them down into the same context alluded to by Stewart. How many of those 600 felony incidents involved a white cop vs. black man? How many of the 2,300 San Bernardino County peace officers who fell victim to crime was the result of a white cop v. black man? And I absolutely disagree with the DA’s assertion there is little care about the harm or death to our peace officers. Our community is still in full support of Officer Gabriel Garcia. And as tragic as that incident was, it was not a matter of white cop v. black men. C’mon Mr. District Attorney, play it right. There was no mass demonstration favoring the LAPD’s bad Officer Christopher Dorner. There was great empathy and support for the families and peace officers victimized by Dorner’s rampage. But there is also remembrance of Rodney King and there is a difference.

Norman E. Edelen, San Bernardino

Toll roads improve region’s transportation system

Toll lanes are very quickly coming to the 91 and 15 freeways in Riverside County and are the preferred alternative for the 10 Freeway expansion in San Bernardino County. Toll lanes are a resource-based decision and reflect the need for transportation improvements which are, as of yet, unfunded. The bottom line is that without toll lanes, you have fewer choices and less investment in the state highway system. Most toll roads establish new freeway lanes or routes, not requiring the conversion of existing lanes, and benefit those who don’t use them by taking cars off of the non-toll lanes. The alternative is to do nothing. Unless and until our highways are more adequately funded, the benefits of toll roads should be clear.

Paul C. Mim Mack, Ontario

All lives matter: Police brutality goes beyond race

Anthony Victoria

For months the hash tag, #blacklivesmatter has transcended out of our social network news feeds and into city street protests. Following the news that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, thousands of people all over the United States are now supporting the African-American struggle against police brutality and social, economic equality.

I understand the frustrations of the African-American community. They have every right to be disillusioned with the criminal justice system. After all, data shows that African-Americans make up approximately 1 million of the total 2.3 million prison population in the U.S. A study conducted by the Malcolm X Grassroots movement back in 2012 demonstrated that an African-American was murdered by law enforcement every 28 hours. The study further reinforces the argument that the darker your skin, the more likely you will become a victim of brutalization.

Despite all these facts and the reality of racism for people of color, I truly believe that the issue of police brutality and our nation’s constant struggle with the Military Industrial Complex goes beyond racial barrier lines. The more we make it an issue of black against white and vice-versa, we will further stray away from the multicultural communities that many of our predecessors fought for.

To an extent I agree that certain people of privilege, predominately white people of privilege, do not understand the plight of the black man. They do not understand their ancestor’s cruel role in history as the colonizers; people that were responsible for the Middle Passage, Indentured Servitude, the Three-Fifth Compromise, and the genocide of Native Americans.

It should not mean, however, that we should totally exclude our white brothers and sisters from the discussion. Although not in high numbers like African-Americans and Latinos, they have experienced brutality at the hands of police too.

It was just three years ago that people across our nation were upset that law enforcement officers had brutally beat a white homeless man in Fullerton. That man, Kelly Thomas, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and was beaten so badly that many of the bones in his face were broken and choked on his own blood.

That same year in 2011 Kayvan Sabeghi, a 32-year-old veteran who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, was beat and arrested by Oakland Police during an Occupy Movement demonstration. According to the San Jose Mercury News, while incarcerated at the Glenn Dyer Jail, the prison staff refused to help him while he lay on the floor vomiting from his injuries, unable to move and begging for help. Sabeghi eventually went unconscious in his jail cell.

Why did we not stand up and speak up then?

Whether it’s a social trend that has prompted the non-political average resident to cling on; whether it is the media’s propaganda tool to anger African-American’s; or if it is a racial matter that continues the legacy of large scale rioting in our nation is up for all of us to decide.

I have already made up my mind. I believe that #alllivesmatter and we should be doing the best we can to ensure that future generations do not live through this madness.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Obama, politicians on the wrong track

President Obama and all politicians are on the wrong track. If you or I break the law, we can and should be prosecuted. What part of breaking the law don’t undocumented immigrants and politicians understand? And it isn’t five million; it is the total 11 million who broke the law by crossing our borders illegally. Australia had a similar problem and they passed a law months ago that if you illegally cross their border, you will never get to become a citizen. The past six months they have not had one undocumented immigrant enter the country. Case solved!

Ed Wentz, Colton

Unlawful employment

I realize that President Obama believes he can claim executive discretion in deciding which undocumented immigrants to deport or not. I don’t understand how he can OK the issuance of work permits for those he chooses not to deport. Existing law strictly forbids the employment (or aiding the employment) of undocumented immigrants, and from what I understand Obama’s executive order does not grant legal status, but only a temporary reprieve from deportation. How can he ignore (or change) the employment portion of the law?

Hardy Pruuel, Torrance

The do-nothing Congress

In his first two years in office, President Obama had a Congress with which he could have passed comprehensive immigration reform, but he and his Congress did nothing, instead. And now the president is trying to make the Republican-controlled Congress look like the bad guy, even though it is doing the same thing as a Democrat-controlled Congress once did in regard to immigration reform — that is, it is doing nothing! The best course of action for any Congress deadlocked on the issue of immigration amnesty is for the Congress and the president to only enact a “constitutional amendment” on the issue, which would then “pass on” the responsibility for approval (or not) of immigration amnesty directly to the states, which is where it rightfully belongs!

James M. Ammann, Whittier

Some who serve give more than they receive

Am I disappointed? You bet I am. The voters of San Bernardino voted to retain Charter Section 186, as is, mandated by the voters. Not surprising. Far be it from me to deny our police and firefighters a just salary and pension. Sure, they put their lives on the line to protect us. But when a city is struggling with bankruptcy, trying to make ends meet, and when funds are not there, why is it so offensive to negotiate salaries and pensions, at least until we recover? However, it occurred to me, we might need to do some soul-searching, here. Our troops lay down their lives for us, too. Not knowing, as they leave for overseas, whether they will see their families again. I don’t think their salaries or pensions are on their minds. More likely, it’s their families who are left behind that concerns them: Can they handle it alone? As they answer their call to duty they may be making the supreme sacrifice. I think that’s the word I am trying to use, “sacrifice” for the good of others. Remember, it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

Marion D. Bilek, San Bernardino

What if Ferguson race roles were reversed?

Try this thought experiment and be brutally honest — picture Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson as an African-American. Imagine all the facts as being exactly as before. Now ask if Wilson had a right to defend himself from a 300-pound man who had just punched him in the face and tried to wrestle his gun away? Eight percent of police officers killed in the line of duty are murdered with their own weapons by criminals who were just moments before unarmed. Police are trained not to let anyone dangerous get too close. Michael Brown outweighed Wilson by almost 100 pounds, had just attacked him, and was running at him. Anyone in similar circumstances would have defended themselves. What happened was tragic, but if either man was a different color, the rioters would not be stealing goods or burning innocent people’s businesses in the name of so-called justice.

Jeff Hoy, Redlands

 

University of California may no longer be affordable for students

Anthony Victoria

By the time you read this, a critical decision that has implications of raising tuition by five percent for University of California students for the next five years will have been decided by the system’s board of regents.

While UC President Janet Napolitano believes the proposed hike is the result of the California government’s short change to the state’s premier research university system, lawmakers like Governor Jerry Brown and Senate pro-tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) shared sentiments of opposition and have presented alternatives to the proposal.

Disagreements like these will continue to exist in California as long as the economic climate continues to fluctuate.

However, considering that the state has plenty of money to fund prisons ($9.8 billion) and university officials seeming to always have room to raise their chancellor’s salaries, it is unfair to place the burden on your top consumer: the adolescents and young adults of California. We should not be asking working class and middle-class families to sacrifice more money.

UC undergraduate tuition (currently at $12,192 a year) is about eight times more than what it was in 1989. Add on campus fees, books, housing, associated student fees etc., you’re looking at about an average of over $28,000 a year.

In September, the UC regents hiked up the pay of officials at Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses of up to 20% and awarded Irvine’s new chancellor up to 24% more than his predecessor.

Do you see the problem?

In the 1960’s California introduced its Master Plan for Higher Education that included the Community College, California State University, and University of California systems. In that plan, educators envisioned free or low-cost tuition for the state’s students that would eventually become educators themselves or community leaders. We have dramatically moved away from that vision and are moving more in towards privatization.

And despite Gov. Brown’s and other lawmaker’s plans to increase funding (most notably Brown’s plan to increase the state’s contribution to 4% a year over the next two years), for UC President Napolitano, it is still not enough.

Even more controversial is that student leaders were not involved in the conversation. A recent editorial in the Daily Californian mentioned that the decision was made in the absence of many student leaders across all ten campuses. UC officials are handicapping their students.

In the end, all involved parties will suffer greatly: UC officials will be at the negative end of a financial and educational debate, California lawmakers will be accused of not prioritizing education, and most importantly, students and their parents will have to pay more money for tuition, taking out more loans, and falling further into debt.

By 2020, the year my little sister is projected to graduate from high school and pursues her dream of attending UCLA, my father (who is on the cusp of retirement) is possibly looking at a $15, 563 bill for tuition. Like Papa, I’m hoping Margaret does well enough to garner scholarships and grants to help her pay for school.

Not everyone will have that same fortune. The Master Plan is no longer a leading cause.

Food trucks taking a bite out of local businesses

What is with all the support we are giving to this monthly food truck feeding frenzy San Bernardino puts on? We have restaurants closing all around us and now we want to support this and more money being taken in from businesses out of town? Who is spearheading and supporting this? We have enough problems with the casino undercutting and driving the closing of our local businesses. Now this. What is wrong with the people who run this city? They need to start learning to run it like a business.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Incentives could help improve voter turnout

Many years ago, I would forget it was election day and would not vote. Remember cars riding up and down streets with a bullhorn blaring messages? Well, that might wake some of us up. While that may be one of the many reasons so few people vote today, maybe a little bribing will help get voters to the polls. How about a free coffee? The “I Voted” sticker could have something to indicate they get a free coffee. There might be other businesses that would offer incentives, from free meals and merchandise to discounts on whatever. If getting more people to the polls would make this a safe city, I think that would benefit the many businesses that would participate. I also wonder if transportation is a factor in the low voter turnout. Maybe all they need is a ride to the polling place.

Liz Lopez, San Bernardino

A cancer patient knows what decision involves

What real choices do you have when handed a terminal diagnosis? The religious fanatics will argue that only God can choose, so they’ll pray for a miracle to happen and a cure. If this God they speak of can help, why did he allow the person to acquire the illness in the first place? As a cancer survivor, I believe in the dignity of the subject. What good is the quality of life when it starts to dissipate in terminally ill patients? My belief would be that it’s best to stay around as long as possible. However, when I’ve reached the point of no return, I’ll depart this world on my terms. The state should have the right-to-die law. If there is a forgiving God, which he’s supposed to be, he’ll welcome me into his kingdom.

Lou Solo, Gardena

Alcohol abuse leads to domestic violence

It is pretty well known that spousal and child abuse, called domestic violence, is a major problem in the nation. Recent cases of professional athletes abusing women and children are but a tip of the proverbial iceberg. What is not generally recognized is the spark that triggers such violence. It is booze! Alcohol drinking is conservatively estimated in 70 percent to 80 percent of domestic violence cases in the nation. An article on domestic violence by Caroline Knapp was published in the New York Times in 2000, which emphasized alcohol drinking’s heavy involvement in such violence. The reason we tend to ignore the “elephant in the room” is because we (the 70 percent of the population that drinks alcohol) like what it does for us. We seek the euphoric mood swing. However, in far too many cases, the sedation of repressed emotions, specifically, anger, sparks violence, usually perpetrated on those we live with. Legislators and anger-management program leaders who endeavor to reduce domestic violence need to seriously address excessive alcohol use (addiction) among violators or they will continue to spin their wheels.

Mike Kennedy, San Bernardino The author is a former alcohol program administrator and instructor at San Bernardino Valley College.

Bible teachings as important as Holocaust

Enough on the Holocaust already! There’s always going to be people who will never accept the fact that such a horrific event as the Holocaust could ever have taken place, and no matter what you may try to teach people about it, some will never accept it as fact. The Anti-Defamation League and devout Jews are insistent on a mandatory teaching of the Holocaust, yet these same people do not believe in Jesus Christ as being the salvation of mankind. His birth, life, ministry and crucifixion are well-documented in a book put together by people who witnessed events that happened, it’s called the Bible. If they want to educate people on the Holocaust, then in turn they should be willing to be educated on the life of Jesus Christ.

Peter Paddison, Hesperia

It’s getting cold out, bundle up or you’ll get sick — or will you?

Yazmin Alvarez

Now that we’re in the middle of November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, there’s finally some relief from the heat—finally.

November equals cooler temperatures, which equals hearty down home cooking and hot chocolate, warm cookies— boy am I ready to eat.

But don’t get too excited. This piece isn’t about Thanksgiving or even food (c’mon I’m not always that predictable), it’s about seasons.

Fall and winter and the flu season, actually.

And if you grew up hearing the same thing I did, and still do, you’ve heard it a million times:

Don’t go outside without a jacket, you’re going to get sick. Don’t go to sleep with your hair wet, you’re going to get sick. Cover up, you’re going to get sick. I can go on and on… But do cold temperatures really get us sick?

No, well not entirely, according to a CNN report published Oct. 31.

Yes, it’s common that we tend to get sick more when the weather gets colder, but it isn’t actually the cold weather that causes the common cold. According to the report, it’s what we do when it gets cold out.

“When the weather turns cold, we all run indoors, where air is recycled and we’re often in close quarters with other people and viruses. We all sneeze on top of each other,” says Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, chief of the Dr. James J. Rahal Jr. Division of Infectious Disease at New York Hospital Queens, in the report. Hmm…”we all sneeze on top of each other”… sounds like germs to me.

Yes, viruses cause colds.

Here’s her explanation:

“Dry and cold conditions are probably more high-risk situations for viruses because of dry mucosa,” adds Segal-Maurer. The mucosa, she says, is what lines your trachea, the back of your throat and your sinuses. Viruses invade the mucosa and start growing, causing your cold.

And that’s viruses — as in, plural. The common cold isn’t just one type of virus: When you say “I’ve got a cold,” that could mean you have one of many bugs.”

And here’s the explanation from a Fox News report published Nov. 12:

“The truth lies in how the weather affects colds after you’re infected,” says Dr. LeeAnna Lyne from Susquehanna Health Medical Group in Pennsylvania.“Cold weather causes decreased blood flow in the nose, ears, hands, etc., to keep the heart and brain protected. This causes dryness and a decreased ability of the nose to filter pathogens like viruses,” making you vulnerable and aggravating already-present symptoms.

So my take on all this—keep it simple folks—just wash your hands and don’t go around sneezing and wiping your face then shaking hands and touching things, for everyone’s well-being. And of course, a few tips on how to stay healthy:

1. Practice cleanliness and good hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds to wash away germs. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes to prevent the spread of pathogens you may have picked up on a doorknob or countertop.

2. Dress for the conditions. While stepping outside without your coat or with wet hair won’t give you instant pneumonia (sorry, moms), it can stress your immune system or worsen existing symptoms. Dressing warmly protects you from this increased susceptibility and from the risks of frostbite and hypothermia if you become stranded in a storm, for instance.

Visit www.foxnews.com/health 6 ways to combat the health effects of cold weather to read the rest of the tips.

Please Join Us for the 4th Annual Reception of the George Brown Legacy Project 

My late husband George Brown devoted his life and career to equal justice, education, and public service. These 3 themes stand out in 3 leaders who have built a better Inland Region.

Please join me on:

Sunday, November 16, 2014 at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, 217 S. Lemon Ave. in Ontario from 5pm to 7pm., for our 4th annual reception of the George Brown Legacy Project to celebrate their contributions and one other person special to George and me:

George knew this bipartisan trio well. Their endeavors for civil rights, public schools, and responsive local government in Riverside and San Bernardino counties carry on his mission. Patricia “Corky” Larson, former Riverside County supervisor and Palm Springs school board member. Lois Carson, board member, San Bernardino Valley College Foundation. Sam Crowe, attorney and school board member in Ontario. Please consider joining our host committee for this event.

To join or become a sponsor, please call 323-669-9999.

Tickets for this reception are $50.

On Sunday, we will also pay tribute to the public service of longtime San Bernardino County leader and outgoing Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod. She joined myself and former Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, at the groundbreaking for the George Brown Elementary School, now in its second year of shaping a new generation of Explorers in San Bernardino. Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter The mission of the George Brown Legacy Project is to establish the archives of the late visionary Congressman George Brown at the University of California, Riverside and ensure their use by future generations of scholars, reporters, and leaders in science, labor, business, and public service. http://library.ucr.edu/view/georgebrown I really hope you plan to join us and look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,

Marta Brown, Steering Committee Member, George Brown Legacy Project

Congressman Elect Aguilar’s Statement Honoring Veterans Day

Congressman Elect Pete Aguilar (CA-31) released the following statement in honor of Veterans Day: “As Americans it is our responsibility to honor the tremendous bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans each and everyday by providing them with the highest quality healthcare, job training and transition counseling when they return home. But Veterans Day is a special day when we can come together as a community to say thank you, highlight their service and honor the men and women who have put it all on the line to fight for our values and keep us safe. “This Veterans Day, as a newly elected member of Congress, I am pledging to honor the veterans in San Bernardino County by doing all that I can and working with others in Congress to improve the VA and fight for jobs. Today, tomorrow and from now on, let’s make a commitment to keep the promises we have made to our nation’s veterans.”

Congressman Elect Pete Aguilar (CA-31)

Some just don’t get it

Right-to-die legislation opponents aren’t terminally sick. How could they possibly know what a person of sound mind who is very sick is going through as she or he requests the right to die instead of being hooked up to machines and experiencing so much pain? Give that person that right!

Ed Wentz, Colton

Paying attention while driving saves lives

It’s unlikely the results of the current study on distracted officers will differ from previous ones. Repeated studies have been done and the findings are always the same: multi-tasking is a fantasy. It was recently shown that using a cell phone — hands-free or not — produces an accident rate similar to driving after drinking. It’s not what your hands are doing, but what your mind is. The very best such as a skilled pilot, after a lot of training and experience, is able to quickly switch between tasks, but while they are talking on the radio they are not flying the plane. A Pennsylvania state police sergeant made the point to me (I was dating his daughter in the days before seatbelts) and my friends. Driving is a full-time job. Turn the radio off and open the windows at least a crack so you can hear what’s going on outside. Keep your head on a swivel and stay with traffic. You are operating a multi-thousand pound hunk of steel and hitting something at 35 mph is the same as falling off a three-story building.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

Interactions with San Bernardino’s homeless population

In recent months, photographer Fabian Torres has been assisting homeless people in the city of San Bernardino, providing them with water and other essential things needed to survive on the streets. I was able to tag along one day and speak to these people. After all, just like us, they need Love and Security.

Name: Junior (refused to give his legal name)

Gender: Male Age: 23 Hometown: Morongo, California.

Date of testimony: September 19, 2014.

Since this gentleman may risk apprehension as a result of speaking to us about his situation, we have decided to not provide his personal identity. Therefore, we will address him as Junior.

Junior was released from a California State Prison in January. Due to his parole, he is not allowed to return back to his hometown of Morongo, which is an unfortunate decision that has left him without a home. He said he feels that he’s being forced to be a homeless resident in the city of San Bernardino as a result of the city’s lack of support.

“I have ways to get a job back home,” he said. “I have a family who can support me, but they just won’t let me go home.”

“You have all these advocates speaking about how they can help the homeless, but nothing is being done,” Junior said.

Junior said it saddens him to witness families go through the same thing he experience’s because he believes being homeless shouldn’t come down to an ultimatum.

“I’ve seen people out here and they have to choose between either paying the bills or having food,” said Doe. “It shouldn’t come down to that.”

When asked why he was sent to prison, he replied by explaining simply that he was hanging out with the wrong crowd.

“I dropped out of high school and got a job,” he said. “Things were going good for me and I let that all go by making a mistake. Where are my homies now? They don’t know you. You don’t exist to them when you’re in there locked up.”

The 23-year-old said despite his situation, he is grateful to have the company of his fiance to get him through tough times. He looks to get back on his feet by working for CalTrans. He is expecting a call back from them soon.

“Wisdom is what you experience,” he said. “I know I’ve made mistakes and I have to learn from them.”

The road back to recovery will be an arduous one. Junior is on parole for five years and cannot return back to Morongo until he completes his term.

Name: Adrian

Gender: Male

Age: Unknown

Hometown: San Bernardino, California.

Date of Testimony: September 19, 2014.

As we walked down the steps of the Radisson Hotel, we noticed a man sitting by himself on the steps that lead into the abandoned Convention Center. Fabian approached him and asked if he was thirsty.

The man–who appeared to be in his 40’s (or even 50’s)was friendly–acted in a coy-like fashion, but nonetheless accepted Fabian’s water bottle donations.

We introduced ourselves and we began to speak about the city a bit. I mentioned how it seemed like we were in the shadows (which I realize now didn’t make any sense, but whatever).

The gentleman, whose first name is Adrian, mentioned some sort of model which has been on display in the city before. He said witnessing that was the fondest memory he’s had of San Bernardino.

Adrian seemed a little bittersweet about the current state of the city. He mentioned Omnitrans’ SBX and said he thinks the city is improving slowly. However, he went on to compare the city’s downtown area to a scene in “I am Legend.”

We laughed a little, which is always good. We hope Adrian is making the best out of his tough situation.

“I’ve been in and out of shelter’s since 1996,” he said. “I’m just living day by day.”

Paying attention while driving saves lives

It’s unlikely the results of the current study on distracted officers will differ from previous ones. Repeated studies have been done and the findings are always the same: multi-tasking is a fantasy. It was recently shown that using a cell phone — hands-free or not — produces an accident rate similar to driving after drinking. It’s not what your hands are doing, but what your mind is. The very best such as a skilled pilot, after a lot of training and experience, is able to quickly switch between tasks, but while they are talking on the radio they are not flying the plane. A Pennsylvania state police sergeant made the point to me (I was dating his daughter in the days before seatbelts) and my friends. Driving is a full-time job. Turn the radio off and open the windows at least a crack so you can hear what’s going on outside. Keep your head on a swivel and stay with traffic. You are operating a multi-thousand pound hunk of steel and hitting something at 35 mph is the same as falling off a three-story building.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

More information needed before annexing land

The council and development department of San Bernardino are facilitating a developer with a proposed 379.2-acre project to the detriment of residents. The proposed Spring Trails development is currently located on county land that needs to be annexed to the city in order for high-density housing to be built in the development. This is necessary because the county zoning for this state identified high wind/high fire zone is for one house per five acres. This area has lost homes a number of times during the Santa Ana fire seasons. The City Planning Commission turned this subdivision down twice before the City Council voted to accept the tract plans which don’t have ingress or egress roads into or out of the tract. Constituents living in the county area to be annexed and surrounding city parcels have expressed their concerns that this is a bad development for this area at this time. On Nov. 3, the City Council will be voting to send the planned development to LAFCO for annexation from the county to the city. If these 379 acres are annexed, the city will be responsible for fire protection, policing and weed abatement. The city areas presently do not get any services for weed abatement or maintenance of West Meyers Road, but the county has maintained the roadway and weed abatement in the county areas. During rain events, the county has heavy equipment on West Meyers Road, controlling mudflows coming from the county parcels, which in turn facilitates the safe ingress and egress for both city and county residents in the area. A bankrupt city can’t afford more areas of responsibility for services and protection of citizens, especially large tracts of rural land prone to fire and flooding in the north end of San Bernardino. I ask the City Council to do the right thing and not promote this area for annexation until the developer can show a responsible infrastructure for the site, and until the city has the resources to protect the residents living here. I live on West Meyers Road next to the future development. I lost my home in the 2003 Old Fire. I am concerned that our City Council is making a commitment that includes maintenance and safety they are currently unable to meet and will be unable to meet with the annexation of the 379 acres, putting the lives of residents at risk.

Richard Kaplan, San Bernardino

 

SoCal Edison appeasing the large energy users

It seems the main reason Edison is proposing to revamp its residential rate structure is to appease the large (residential) energy users. It uses terms like ensuring that “large usage customers aren’t paying more than their fair share” and “High-usage customers have shouldered most of new costs …,” etc. However, Edison claims the proposed change to lower the rates for high energy users, would encourage energy efficiency. Edison has its logic backwards. You are not promoting energy efficiency when you lower rates. By lowering rates, you are encouraging users to consume more. It does not do anything to discourage waste. You keep rates high so users will be wise in their energy usage to avoid wasting their hard-earned money.

Charles Blankson, Fontana

War is not the answer to a peaceful existence

Too bad that Americans are afflicted with short memories and have forgotten the Vietnam War. Has war become a habit in our collective thinking, and we can’t imagine any other solution to resolve international challenges? After 9/11, most Americans should’ve agreed to pursue terrorists as criminals, which is what they are. Instead, they endorsed military action against Afghanistan and Iraq, neither of which had anything to do with the Twin Towers attacks. And now no one wants to admit we lost the Iraq War years ago, nor that the thousands of our soldiers who lost their lives or limbs in Iraq were sacrificed needlessly. Once again, people are convinced that more blood and money will make their fantasy of victory in Iraq come true. How many more wars will it take for Americans to finally accept the truth that war is not the answer?

David Quintero, Monrovia

 

I E C N, Community Leaders & Water Industry Leaders are all getting behind Melody Henriques McDonald for SBVMWD Water Board

SBVMWD voters who care about controlling cost and tempering rate increases should back Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Director Division 3

Melody is responsible for residents of the San Bernardino Valley having the most affordable water in her 23 years of water leadership at the SBVWCD and is committed to making sure our families and our businesses have the water they need to thrive that support a healthy economy.

We have no doubt Melody will be successful in keeping San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water Districts rates in line as well. Keeping all our citizens, specifically our Seniors who are on fixed incomes water rates low is top priority as is working to see our property values don’t decline.

Melody Henriques McDonald is our voice for job creation and supports projects that will bring in over 600,000 new jobs to a State that is suffering because of this drought. Melody has the endorsements of our San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, and our Committee on Political Education (COPE).

Importantly, Melody’s experience will help her navigate SBVMWD through these unprecedented times of drought.

Melody has endorsements of her fellow community members and water leaders all over this region.

Margaret Hill, Member, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Trustees. “Melody I know where you stand on our water issues facing us today and you are clearly the most experienced,” says Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill joins a long list of respected community leaders from across the region who are endorsing Melody.

Dr. Rob Zinn, Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland says “Melody I know you will speak truth to us about water”.

We’re supporting Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Div 3.

 

Betty Gosney, President Board of Directors West Valley Water District, Bloomington

Alan Dyer, Board Member West Valley Water District & President Kiwanis, Rialto

Richard Corneille, President San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, Redlands

Skip Wilson, Past President East Valley Water District, Highland

For more information on Melody, water in California, and a complete list of endorsements visit:

www.MelodyMcDonald.com   call Melody @ (909) 499-5175 or email Melody4Water@gmail.com

 

Vote Summer Zamora Jorrin, District 2

Along with my family, friends, and neighbors, I am voting for Summer Zamora Jorrin as our next District 2 council member and I urge everyone to join us. I like that she is a younger candidate and has the energy to be a responsive and active council member. As a lifelong resident, I feel our city needs new people in office and not the same elected officials that have already served for decades. In order to move our city on the right path and progress we need fresh faces and different ideas. The fact that she personally knocked on our door to introduce herself and answer our questions is encouraging to me. Usually we are only left information by campaign workers and never meet the candidate directly, but I’ve frequently seen her walking in our district and talking to residents for weeks. Finally, I was encouraged to learn that she has been endorsed by Colton’s General Unit Employees, the Colton Fire Association and the Sun Newspaper’s Editorial Board. This makes me even more confident that I will make the best choice to represent my family when I vote to elect Summer Zamora Jorrin for City Council District 2.

Nicole Ramirez, Lifelong Colton Resident

Voting for Baca and Hirtz

Deeds and actions speak louder than words, therefore I am “Voting for Councilmembers Lynn Hirtz and Joe Baca, Jr. . They both have character, integrity and a total commitment to the Residents and the City of Rialto. They also have the endorsement and support of the Rialto Police Benefit Assn. and the Rialto Firefighters. For the first time in years we have a Valid City Balanced Budget. Lynn is an experienced business woman, and with her husband Dan they have had a successful Lawnmower center for 44 years in Rialto. Joe is a Rialto native and family man. He is a Rialto High School teacher and involved with all the sports activities and a coach. He helped to start the Rialto Sports Hall of Fame. They both attend and participate at the events in Rialto. Let us vote on November 4 and elect Lynn and Joe, so our City can continue going forward in our quest for a stronger Rialto.

Greta Hodges Rialto, CA

Vote wisely in Colton on November 4

So Mr. Gonzales wants us to believe his campaign statements when he says he “Abolished the utility tax”. Sorry, NOT TRUE! Gonzales was not even on the council when that happened. In fact, his opponent for mayor, Mr. DeLaRosa, cast the deciding vote to kill this tax when he was sitting on the Council. “Return financial stability”, again I don’t believe that to be true. How can it be when Mr. Gonzales just voted for the current budget with a $1.8 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT! Doesn’t sound like financial stability to me! Then he states “Lowered utility rates 10%”. Add all the reductions that have occurred since Mr. Gonzales has been on the council and you get about 5.6% reduction for some, higher rates for others. Not such a good deal. And he failed to mention that he voted to approve additional pass through money from the electric department to the city to spend as it pleased. This money if left in the electric dept. could have resulted in lower rates for everyone! Last, I have taken a close look at who has contributed money to Mr. Gonzales campaign. Very little has come from local residents, but tens of thousands of dollars from outside, special interests. Most distressing of all is the $10,000.00 plus he has received from several Los Angeles area companies who is managed and/or governed by Allan Steward who was convicted along with several other then current or past Colton Mayors or Council Members for bribery. Why is Mr. Gonzales now accepting large amounts of money from this persons companies? We don’t need any more scandals in Colton. And didn’t Mr. Gonzales ever learn that you are judged by the company you keep? Doesn’t look very good from my point of view! Misleading statements and questionable money contributions. Colton does not need to take chances on its future. Please vote wisely on November 04, 2014.

Steven Cade Colton, Ca

The Heart and Soul Mayoral Race of Colton

Two hometown candidates are putting fourth every effort to win the 2014 Colton mayoral election. Both have great experience and knowledge of Colton politics. These two candidates bring forth their ideas for Colton’s future, some new and some old. Candidate De La Rosa, age 50, and candidate Gonzalez, age79, are not going to see things eye to eye, and for the better of the community the right candidate must be elected for the job. We need growth, fresh ideas, and old-issues resolved, Councilman Gonzales speaks of having the power, but doesn’t place his statement on any specific agenda for the good of the city. Candidate De La Rosa continually puts forth the statement that he works for the people of Colton “the residents”, listening to and acting upon their needs and concerns. Both candidates have 12 years plus direct involvement in Colton politics. However, we need a candidate with an impact on Colton’s needs. We don’t need a “GODFATHER”, we need a mayor that listens and that’s not intimidating. We need one that takes orders, not gives them. We need someone who will ask, listen and act with a sincere heart, not consumed by just having the “POWER”. Which of these candidates will do this for our community, our City? Which one clearly has the vitality, wisdom, and sincere leadership to do the job for the people? So I ask my community of 68 years to pull together and make the choice on November 4, 2014. Our youth are counting on us to responsibly choose the right candidate so that our city can grow in a positive direction, persevere, and create a solid foundation for their future!

Carmelita Gonzalez, Lifelong Colton Resident

“who is who” – for the Mayor of Colton

Five prominent advocate council members and the current mayor of Colton all support, endorse and back-up candidate Richard De La Rosa in the 2014 mayoral election. They feel that Richard is the man for the job. With only two weeks left until Election Day it is vital to know who your candidates really are. For instance, in the October 16th issue of a local newspaper, Frank Gonzales is quoted stating “it’s totally wrong, making allegations that are totally false.” He stated this regarding the wrong doing of misappropriation of public funds, which he was allegedly accused of. Mr. Gonzales being hypocritical did the same thing to candidate Richard De La Rosa regarding a meeting that took place at Denny’s restaurant in Colton back in July of 2013. Mr. Gonzales wrongfully accuses candidate Richard De La Rosa of being a part of “…a deliberate conspiracy on their part to try and hurt my campaign, period, because I wouldn’t go along with their conspiracy to get the votes.” However this meeting consisted of members of the Colton City Council, residents, business owners, and not only the individuals of Colton First who always have great concerns for the city of Colton. This meeting was brought together due to the concerns for the cities progress and the upcoming mayoral election. It took place to find out where we stood as collective and concerned individuals for the betterment of the city and its future. At the end of the meeting Mr. Gonzales was visually upset because of the request of the city council and other attendees of the meeting encouraging him to remain running for his district, which would therefore bring, for the first time in history, a fully united city council with the mayor being a unanimous choice and that mayor being candidate Richard De La Rosa. Mr. Gonzales angrily blurted out, verbatim ” No, I want the power!” His mind was made up and his decision was made with no concerns over the fact that if he were to win, it would be without the support of the entire city council. There is no truth to any conspiracy or that candidate De La Rosa has anything to do with Colton First. Candidate De La Rosa does not need anyone but the residents of Colton to base his decisions on. Candidate De La Rosa has proven to be fair, direct, and a man of integrity, a twelve-year veteran of Colton politics with a track record of progress. Running for mayor is a huge undertaking, which requires deep forethought with joining forces. At the end of the day those forces turned out to be five members of the city council and the current mayor in full support of candidate Richard De La Rosa. Frank Gonzales was a decent mayor but not a powerful one. Colton NEEDS strength, intense activity and a fresh, new out-look with resolution to the existing prevalent issues within the city. Candidate De La Rosa can resolve issues and give the driving force the city needs. Do your homework and make our Colton a town to be proud of. Choose the right candidate to make a difference.

Mrs. Henoveva Guadalupe Colton, CA

Fall: It’s all about Oktoberfest and haunts

Yazmin Alvarez

It’s the middle of October and you’re thinking, what’s there to do?

Well, have I got the answer for you.

I’m going to keep it simple:

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex in Pomona ;The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and Knott’s Scary Farm.

First, let’s talk beer.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex is far from the bro-filled beer-fest these events are usually tapped with. Of course, you have your usual annoying few, but overall this was just a huge Bavarian music, German food and chicken dance filled good time.

Muscle up to chug down the crisp Oktoberfest brew and take your chances at the stein holding competition for both men and women.Not as easy at it looks – trust.

Now moving on to the scary. The, “I should have brought a change of pants” kind of scary.

I’m talking about the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.

Let me just be honest here. I had fear tears in one of the mazes. I was genuinely freaked. Yea sure, I’m a chicken but this was a different kind of scared. Like, I felt uneasy scared.

Good, right?

There are three mazes that actually take place on the ship which, explains my uneasiness. And I’m only going to talk about one. The one that gave me the gut feeling to vomit because it scared my pants off.

That’s “B340.”

This maze takes you through the bowels of the haunted ship. You literally get the smell of horror. You walk through hallways of loose body parts and end up in the bloodied room of Samuel the Savage and a half-eaten body. Doesn’t sound too creepy, right? Well, I think all the legends and haunts that come with the ship itself offer up a good scare.

Knott’s.

With a few brand new mazes like Voodoo and The Tooth Fairy and the much talked about Special Ops: Infected Zombie shooting experience along with some favorites like the return of Elvira – the legendary Mistress of the Dark.

First, shooting zombies.

You get to arm yourself with specially designed laser guns to hunt zombies throughout six-acres of the park. You get paired up in a group, and are led by a Squad Leader – a loud mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning you into a soldier. But don’t take your time here, you’re on the clock and screaming, dragging their body zombies are after you. It’s lazer tag on roids basically.

Now the new mazes.

Voodoo: Trudge cautiously through the cursed swamps of the Deep South and some bloody sacrifices and demons curss. In this maze, you create your own path.

Instead of making your way through narrow pathways, you’re dumped into a southern swamp with forks in the road that lead you to voodoo rituals and other experiences.

A tip: start the night here. By the time the park was closing the line was still wrapped around.

The Tooth Fairy: Yes, exactly what it sounds like but this tooth fairy is a deranged dentist.

Some special effects in this maze include a blackout room where you have to feel your way out and then you’re guided by a disorienting x-ray strobe light room. If you’re afraid of the dentist, well, here’s your chance to face your fears and say, “aahhh.”

Now for Elvira. In her new show she becomes the Ring-Mistress of the Park as she hosts a circus carnival of macabre freaks and sinister side show acts. This show is not for those with a sensitive stomach. Balloons in places, humans bending in ways and swords… long sharp swords being ingested. Suk it up and check it out, it’s worth it.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex: Friday-Sunday now through Oct. 26. Ticket info: www.oktoberfestatfairplex.com

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor: Now through Oct. 2. Ticket info: www.queenmary.com

Knott’s Scary Farm: Now through Nov. 1. Ticket info: www.knotts.com

 

Vote Yes on Measures Q and R

Recently San Bernardino votes received the flyer from the “Citizens Against Measure Q,” paid for by the San Bernardino City Firefighters’ Union PAC. This document is filled with untruths and innuendos that need to be clarified. One glaring example is that Wildwood Park and the controversial plans for it have NOTHING to do with Measure Q. Measures Q and R were put on the ballot after lengthy discussion by a citizens committee appointed to analyze the 46-page San Bernardino City Charter, and to recommend changes that would begin to make a difference in the financial hemorrhaging of our city. Both of the measures which were eventually put on the ballot by the City Council have financial implications. Measure Q would replace the provisions of Section 186 of the City Charter with language providing for salaries of safety personnel to be set by collective bargaining, as are the salaries of all other city employees. Why should one group of employees have the advantage of automatic salary adjustments? All other city employees, such as those who work in the offices, the streets, the libraries and the parks negotiate through their unions for changes in their salaries. As most of us know, that is what collective bargaining is all about. It is unfair for safety employees to have the special privileges that Section 186 provides them. Section 186 is unusual in its specificity giving actual steps, classifications and salary schedules. No other city, including those which are used by the safety unions to establish average salaries as required by 186, has such specificity in its charter—in all cases, the salaries are negotiated through collective bargaining. San Bernardino cannot afford Section 186, which ties the hands of those we elect to provide services of all kinds for the citizens of the city. As an example, Section 186 has resulted through the years in exorbitant salaries for our firefighters. The top 40% make an average of $190,000 per year; the next 40% make an average of $166,000 per year. We must begin to get our city through bankruptcy and on the road to providing the services that are expected of an “All-America” city. Vote yes on Measures Q and R.

Dorothy Garcia, San Bernardino

Regurgitated City Elections

As Election Day, November 4th quickly approaches, the campaign signs come out. Not to my surprise, we see the regurgitated names of individuals running for council positions that they either currently hold, have held in the past. Current and ex council members are now running for Mayor, (DeLaRosa, and Gonzalez). District representatives that are going unopposed as if they’ve done such an outstanding job in this city that no one could match their performance, (Toro)……really? It’s no wonder this city continues down the same pathetic path year after year. How can anyone expect the status quo to change if we continue putting the same people in office that contributed to the cities decline in the first place? Budget inconsistencies, going through city managers like a revolving door, no accountability and exorbitant electric rates have become common place along with a declining downtown area with multiple vacant businesses with blank signs seen from the freeway. Nothing will ever change unless we bring new faces, new blood and fresh ideas into the council seats. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon. Colton will wake up November 5th to the same old same old. Well, at least the city will save money by not having to purchase new name plates for the council seats. Hey Citizens for Colton First, you clearly made your voice heard in support of the Mayor Chastain recall attempt and eventual election loss. Where are your voices now? Satisfied with the status quo?

Gary B. Leibelt Colton

Please join me and VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS ” Q” and ” R”

San Bernardino’s City Charter needs to be simplified. Reduce it from 45 pages to a more reasonable 10 or 12. The Charter should be easy to Understand, yet allow enough flexibility that future generations can adjust for the needs of their times. Proposition Q will change Section 186. Section 186 mandates police and firefighter salaries to be the average of 10 like-sized cities. San Bernardino does not have the wealth of 10 Jike-sized cities. Average household income for citizens of SB is $40,000, far below that of the other ten cities. San Bernardino is also in bankruptcy. IF Section 186 were changed, police and fire pay will be set by collective bargaining, as is done for other city employees. This would allow City Management an opportunity to exercise good judgment over a significant portion of the budget. Safety employees currently take approximately 70% of the budget. This leaves very little for streetlights, pothole repair, parks and other city services. Why are the safety unions fearful of periodic collective bargaining? Proposition R would remove Section 254, the requirement that terminated employees continue to be paid until they have an opportunity for the Civil Service Board to hear an appeal. Terminated employees can still recoup lost wages IF they convince the Board they were wrongfully terminated. (If the employee was not wrongfully terminated, the City has given away money it can never recoup.) I again urge you to VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS Q AND R. Our future and the tate of this City may depend on it.

Thank you, Linda, Daniels San Bernardino

San Bernardino city should be more open to the arts

By Anthony Victoria

Gloomy San Bernardino. Where is the love?

The love for art, I mean. Art is most likely not on the city council’s priority list, considering that they are up against a bankruptcy and two giant public employee unions at the moment. However as a resident and fervent supporter of the arts, I encourage some of our councilmembers and Mayor to put more attention into creating an art culture for our city’s youth.

In a modern society where activities like reading and writing are no longer commonplace for youth, it is important we look for alternatives to help stimulate their minds. It can help community leaders instill a sense of pride among the city’s most troubled youth.

One form of art that is always frowned upon by the public is graffiti due to it being so closely associated with gang culture. That may be a huge issue as we move forward into our post-bankruptcy stage. When a person is so adamant that this form of art brings nothing but negativity, it eliminates any hope of free expression.

Imagine the different murals that can be created that highlight the city’s historic contributions. I think it’s time we see a little color in downtown. Our city leaders have a vision that entails having a great commercial hub in the heart of our city. What difference will it make if no one is there to experience it?

Realistically, beside the sporadic murals that have been painted at community centers and at Perris Hill Park by local community organizers, there is nothing happening that helps attract young artists to San Bernardino. Many travel to Redlands and Riverside to enjoy their art walks, and some may indulge in mural projects in other far-away locations.

If you visit cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, you will notice colorful, vibrant murals that depict the rich culture that thrive in those communities.

For example, Chicano Park, which is located in the Logan Heights community in San Diego, is christened with murals and other memorabilia that commemorates Mexican-American (or Chicano) culture. In fact, the park also has sculptures, earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the community’s cultural heritage.

In San Bernardino, where many migrants from diverse backgrounds settled to work in the rail yards of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, work in the orange groves, the home of the first McDonald’s restaurant and where many young adults rode in their top-down cars through Mt. Vernon into Route 66, there is nothing of that kind. The closest thing to it is the 1977 All-America City mural that residents see as they are speeding down the E. St. corridor in the city’s north end.

It’s important that we take the time to celebrate our community’s accomplishments, and what better way to do that by allowing artists to showcase their talents. Some of these walls, like our city, are like blank canvases. If we are to become a great big hub for business development, we should also embrace the artists who can provide us with a little joy through the power of art.

The San Bernardino Art Commission is holding a meeting on Tuesday October 14 at 4PM at City Hall. If you are a fervent supporter of the arts like myself, I encourage you to speak out.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Breaking All the Records

Most of us have just begun to notice the lawn signs and radio ads for candidates this campaign season. Despite the fact that many of us are only beginning to realize we’re in the middle of campaign season, it was recently noted that outside spending is already at the highest rate of any midterm election ever. I’m sure we will continue to see more ads as Election Day nears. More attacks from the left and the right, and from wealthy interest groups . My question is: Are we better off with this much money? Is the debate more intelligent? Is there more information out there? Is our democracy better off? I would argue we’re not, on any account. Instead, we’re paying a price as corporate interests and wealthy individuals shape the debate, decide what our elections are about, and dictate who our politicians actually work for. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/outside-spending-eclipses-past-midterms/

Jeff Green

PWAP Field Organizer

Support those who care about San Bernardino

With all the negativity in San Bernardino, there is still hope. There are many residents and business owners who make that extra effort to do the positive. Tony Canul and his family own Molly’s Cafe on Court and D streets. It is not just a place that has superior food and great service, but a meeting place for business people and residents. Tony has donated a lot of money to help the Route 66 Rendevous, juvenile diabetes car shows, Veterans Day parade and many others. It’s also great to see the American flag hanging out front every morning. There are others, like Albert Okura, owner of Juan Pollo and the Original McDonald’s Museum on 14th and E streets, who, with help of Danny Castro every year puts on the Veterans Day parade car show, and honors every veteran there. Also, Steve Shaw, Allen Bone, Nick Cataldo, John Weeks and all the people who volunteer with the San Bernardino Historical Society and Santa Fe Depot Museum. No forgetting all the police, firefighters and doctors. Please help in any way to support those who are making the extra effort to help and care about San Bernardino.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Route 66 event not a money-maker?

I recently read where a Route 66 event gave the city of Ontario a $22 million boost to its economy. The event drew more than 70 vendors, and over 200,000 people attended. Why, then, when Route 66 Rendezvous was here in the San Bernardino area, didn’t we ever know how much the city took in from this event? Where did the money go? Into whose pocket? You can’t tell me that the city of San Bernardino didn’t make money. Let’s get real. Why didn’t the city post how much was made each year?

Norma Nash, San Bernardino

Raise rates, but don’t add to state’s bureaucracy

We know that increasing the price of water will reduce usage, so it makes sense to increase water rates. But creating a bureaucracy to collect data to decide how much water to allocate to individuals is not only intrusive, it’s also fraught with unintended consequences and it’s unfair. All equally numbered households are not alike in necessary water usage. Some individuals work out of their home, some travel a lot and are rarely home. Some families have lots of overnight company, others have none. Some grandparents take care of grandchildren during the day, some don’t. Some people have second homes or travel a lot, some are home all year. Some have special medical needs, others shower daily at the gym. There will always be special circumstances. Do we really want a growing intrusive water bureaucracy to handle all the circumstances? The best way is the simplest: Raise the rates evenly. When they get high enough, technology will find a way to supply all the water we need.

Patricia Bourdeau, Pasadena 

Make same rules for all

This is the greatest con upon the people of California yet. Money counts — lots of it. Check out your neighbors. Do you see them cutting down on water? How about the city, county, state? Parks, golf courses, schools all need to have water controlled. Like everything else, those with the most dollars have the power, but the true needed dollars come from those who can least afford it. The laws regarding water use in this state need to be implemented and enforced. You could be liable for fines of up to $500 a day for going against those new restrictions. Yet a fine of $500 means nothing to many users. I’m all for following a law. However, there must be a law to follow. I’m willing to have all my lawns die to conserve water until we get normal rainfall, but so must all my neighbors and the city and state.

Bill Noyes, Walnut

B.Y.O.B – California bans plastic bags

By Yazmin Alvarez

Headed to the grocery store?

Pack your bags.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores in a move to cut down on litter damaging to the environment.

“This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown said in a signing statement. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Under SB270, plastic bags will no longer be offered for free at checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target along with pharmacies starting July 2015. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for reusable plastic bags or recycled paper bags.

Eventually, bags will be phased out at convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

The law, however, does not apply to plastic bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to non-food retailers such as clothing and electronics shops.
SB270 also limits how grocers can spend the proceeds from the charges and requires stores to provide free bags to people who are on public assistance, according to a news release issued by the Office of the Governor.

The legislation, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), will also provide up to $2 million in competitive loans – administered by CalRecycle – to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags, the statement said.

The bill’s author Sen. Alex Padilla says existing bans show that consumers quickly adapt and that the paper bag fees will not be very lucrative for grocers. Though California may be the first state to ban plastic bags, more than 100 cities and counties –including Los Angeles and San Francisco– already have bans in place.

Because of these existing bans, consumers will be quick to adapt to the new legislation, said Padilla in the statement.
While the new law is an effort to reduce the stream of plastic film that winds up in waterways and landfills from the bags, it does not come welcome by bag manufacturers.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, says it will seek a voter referendum to overturn California’s law. The group has three months to gather more than 500,000 valid signatures, the number needed to place a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. The group says it will push to make sure the law does not take effect until voters have a say.

“It would jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs, hurt the environment, and fleece consumers for billions so grocery store shareholders and their union partners can line their pockets,” the American Progressive Bag Alliance said in a statement.

For those concerned with being charged the 10 cent fee for a paper or plastic bag, the solution is simple: Bring your own reusable bag.
The other option is to bring a backpack or box while shopping, a similar solution wholesale stores offer at checkout.

SB270 at a glance:

•Plastic bags are only banned at check-outs at grocery stores, pharmacies and supermarkets including Target and Walmart.
•The ban does not apply to non-food shops like clothing and electronics stores.
•The ban does not apply to plastic bags used for produce and meats.
•The new law will take effect July 2015.
•The ban will expand to smaller businesses such as convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

Tank farm tax will generate revenue for city of Rialto

As a resident of Rialto for 25 years, I’ve witnessed and appreciated the difficulty the city has faced in managing its finances in recent years. The recession was brutal. The loss of state redevelopment funding did not help, either. It’s why last year I voted to support an extension of our utility-users tax, even though I certainly could have used the money myself. It’s a sacrifice a community is willing to make to maintain the level of services we have come to expect of our city.

Now it’s time for the billion-dollar oil and gas companies that use our tank farm in Rialto to pay their share.

Measure U, the tank farm tax, will generate $10 million a year for the city, lower our utility taxes by 2 percent and provide us with the economic wherewithal we need as a city to move forward. I love Rialto. I believe in its future. Join with me. Vote yes on U.

Judy Roberts
Rialto

Deal with crime in SB at ground level

Seems that “law” means nothing any longer, especially in San Bernardino.

Two months ago San Bernardino said it would make a stand to displace the homeless who are sleeping on business porches, sidewalks, parked cars and old trailers on the streets. That lasted two days at the most. Every morning the restaurant I go to has to argue with these folks sleeping in the patrons’ chairs and on the porch before they open up their doors.

Then we said any transient caught stealing a $350 shopping cart from retail stores to wheel around their belongings would be dealt with. Seems nothing has happened. Wonder what would happen if I walked into a grocery store and walked out with $350 in steaks?

Crime in San Bernardino needs to start being dealt with at the ground level. The number of those thinking they can do whatever they want with no repercussion is out of hand and has turned San Bernardino into a cesspool.

Steve Portias 
San Bernardino

Debt an unnecessary disaster

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from?

Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November.

North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect.

There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda
San Bernardino

Aguilar will get the job done

Getting a college education isn’t just an important milestone or something we do to make ourselves more well-rounded. It’s a necessity in today’s economy to get a good paying job to support yourself. And if you’re like myself, and the millions of college-aged Americans who are looking for grants and taking out loans, it can be expensive — sometimes prohibitively so.

Paying off my student loans is a constant worry for me. It’s scary to think that even now, while I’m still in school, my loans are gaining interest and my fees will be much larger once I graduate. And if I need a graduate education for the job I want, that just means even more student loans and more debt.

Making sure that college is accessible and student loans affordable needs to be a priority for politicians.

In choosing my next congressman, I trust Pete Aguilar to stand up for students and support his plan to reform our education system. He is the only candidate who I hear talking about this issue. He is the only one who will fight for me in Congress.

Chelsea Glynn
Redlands

California State University is right for standing up for victims of sexual violence

Anthony Victoria

College is a time for adolescents and young adults to venture into a world that’s filled with the dynamism of our nation’s future leaders. However, the college experience can also be a stressful time, a difficult time, especially for those who are and have been victims of sexual violence. California could become the national model to stem such conflict. The California State University– the largest in the United States – announced on September 23 that it will appoint advocates for victims of sexual assault on all 23 of its campuses and I believe it is a step in the right direction. Our state’s top universities, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are among numerous institutions around the nation who have been abysmal when dealing with sexual cases. As a result, the federal government is now conducting investigations at these campuses. The CSU’s decision to provide a support system couldn’t have came at a better time. One in five women are raped during their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with 40 percent of women reporting that the assaults occurred during their time in college. Imagine if your sister, your daughter, or your wife were to be a victim of rape in a place that is supposed to encourage diversity and integrity? But it’s not only limited to women. Men can be victims too. And when these people undergo so much vulnerability and struggle with self-conscious issues, it becomes difficult for them to report this to administration. Which is why it’s a wise move to bring in people who have empathy and the strength to support them in their time of need. By having a trained, designated victim advocate on campus, victims of sexual violence can learn about different options for reporting and learn about the various resources available in their community. The benefits may sound clear. However, there is a potential negative effect this decision could have if it’s not approached correctly. It’s important that these advocates stay firm and strong in their willingness to do the right thing. Administrative pressures can hinder progress that a victim undertakes due to the fear of retaliation, but it shouldn’t be an issue‒especially if you have public servants advocating for the same thing. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Susan Davis, who this summer authored a bill that would require all U.S. colleges and universities that receive federal funding to enact similar measures, praised the CSU in a press release and expressed that others should follow suit. “I hope this trend will continue on university campuses across the nation,” said Representative Davis in the statement. As U.S. president Barack Obama expressed last week through a new initiative, “It’s on Us”. It’s up to us to hold people accountable and not look the other way. Perhaps it is time that we become advocates ourselves and condemn these continuing acts of sexual violence and abuse.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Disappointed in Colton Councilmember

At the 16 Sept. 2014 Colton council meeting, during public comment, I was dismayed to hear some disparaging news about one of our council members. Colton’s representative at the Omni-Trans and IVDA meetings is Councilman Frank Gonzales. It was reported that the councilman was late in attending the last 12 of the 12 Omni-Trans meetings, being so late at one, that the meeting was adjourned as he arrived on July 10th. Checking the minutes of the last 12 meeting showed his being late was recorded, as required by the Brown Act. Receiving a $125.00 stipend for each meeting does not seem earned. His attendance records at the IVDA meetings are almost as bad. Four occasions he was on time but was late five times and was absent three times. In my opinion, this is an embarrassment to the city of Colton. He is supposed to represent the interests of Colton but can’t make it to meetings on time and in some cases not show at all. Councilman Gonzales should have been replaced, as our representative, a long time ago, by a council member who has more of an interest in his ancillary duties for the city.

Ronald H. Lawrence

Colton, Ca.

Vote yes on both San Bernardino measures

Why would a group, the vast majority of whom are not residents of San Bernardino, be spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours putting up signs all over town urging San Bernardino voters to reject Measure Q, a repeal of San Bernardino Charter section 186 which sets public safety pay. Do they care more about San Bernardino than their own towns? Do they have nothing better to do with their time and money than to meddle in San Bernardino politics? No, they are people trying to protect their personal financial interests in San Bernardino’s present Charter section 186. Vote yes on Measures Q and R to help San Bernardino deal with its terrible financial situation, get out of bankruptcy, and move forward with a more businesslike City Charter to becoming a more prosperous, efficient, modern city.

Lynda K. Savage,

San Bernardino

Actually, kids need to be spanked sometimes

What kind of world are we living in? My dad was as “real” a man as you could ever find. And yes, he did take a switch to my brother and me on occasion. We deserved it every time he did it. He didn’t “beat” us, but yes, he did leave some welts. I think we turned out pretty well. In my opinion, this country started going to hell when we stopped disciplining our kids. Give them a “time-out”? Give me a break. In 1953, my fifth-grade teacher had a paddle hanging beside her blackboard and she knew how to use it. Did we back-talk her? Absolutely not. We learned not to sass our parents and we respected our law-enforcement officers, too! Now you can be tossed in jail if you raise a hand against your child and they know it. Ask anyone who grew up in the 1940s or 1950s if children were better behaved then or now. Ask any teacher. Most children are out of hand and there’s no way we can stop it. We are not preparing them for life. If the letter writer never had to spank his kids, maybe he was blessed with some very angelic children. I wasn’t and most other people aren’t, either. All you have to do is walk through a jail or prison to see that. It wasn’t that way in the “good ol’ days.”

Redgie Snodgrass,

Redlands

Greed breeds unnecessary disasters

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed. Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average. Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from? Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November. North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect. There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda,

San Bernardino

 

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One comment on “Opinion & Editorial
  1. SBVMWD voters who care about controlling cost and tempering rate increases should back Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Director Division 3
    Melody is responsible for residents of the San Bernardino Valley having the most affordable water in her 23 years of water leadership at the SBVWCD and is committed to making sure our families and our businesses have the water they need to thrive that support a healthy economy.
    Melody will be successful in keeping San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water Districts rates in line. Keeping all our citizens specifically our Seniors on fixed incomes water rates low is top priority for her as is working to see our property values not decline in this drought.
    Melody Henriques McDonald is our voice for job creation and supports projects that will bring in over 600,000 new jobs to a State that is suffering because of this drought. Melody has the endorsements of our San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, and our Committee on Political Education (COPE).
    Importantly, Melody’s experience will help her navigate SBVMWD through these unprecedented times of drought.
    Melody has endorsements of her fellow community members and water leaders all over this region.
    Margaret Hill, Member, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Trustees. “Melody I know where you stand on our water issues facing us today and you are clearly the most experienced,” says Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill joins a long list of respected community leaders from across the region who are endorsing Melody.
    Dr. Rob Zinn, Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland says “Melody I know you will speak truth to us about water”.
    We’re supporting Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Div 3.
    Betty Gosney, President Board of Directors West Valley Water District, Bloomington
    Alan Dyer, Board Member West Valley Water District & President Kiwanis, Rialto
    Richard Corneille, President San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, Redlands Skip Wilson, Past President East Valley Water District, Highland
    For more information on Melody, water in California, and a complete list of endorsements visit: http://www.MelodyMcDonald.com call Melody @ (909) 499-5175 or email Melody4Water@gmail.com

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